Black Woman Named VP of Quality and New Model Launch at Ford Amid Major Company Shakeup

This is the second major shakeup at the automaker in five months

Linda Cash, one of the most powerful African American women in the automotive industry, has been promoted to vice president of Quality and New Model Launch at Ford Motor Co. in the midst of a major management realignment at the multinational automaker.

 

Ford (Linda Cash photo credit: media.ford.com)

 

Under her new role, Cash will be “responsible for driving quality processes throughout the design and production of Ford vehicles, and for new model launches globally, ensuring alignment throughout the business operations,” states a press release.

Cash, 55, has held a variety of senior-level positions at Ford since she began her career with the company in 1984. She served as vice president of Manufacturing at Ford of Europe since Jan. 1, 2016. Prior to that, she worked as director of Vehicle Operations for Ford of Europe from March 2015 to Jan 2016. She has also held the positions of executive director of Global Vehicle Operations in Manufacturing Engineering and executive director of Global Manufacturing Business Office.

Cash will succeed 27-year Bennie Fowler, 61, effective Jan. 1, 2018.  Fowler has been listed among BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s 100 Most Powerful Executives in 2012.

She represents one of seven leaders at Ford recently appointed to new roles by President and CEO Jim Hackett in an effort to “improve efficiencies” in global operations. The other appointments include four women and two men.

“As we develop our strategy to become the most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, we will continue to reshape the organization to deliver the most value for our customers and all of our stakeholders,” Hackett said in a statement. “The changes we are announcing today will further align resources and improve efficiencies throughout our global markets and operations. At the same time, I want to recognize the truly significant contributions of the senior leaders departing from Ford and thank them for their many years of service.”

John Casesa, who was appointed vice president of global strategy by ousted CEO Mark Fields, is making an exit Nov. 1 as part of Ford’s new realignment strategy. This marks the second major shakeup since Hackett was named CEO in May.

Last year, the Dearborn-based automaker was among 50 companies on Black Enterprise’s Best Companies for Diversity list for its effort to push forward and nurture diversity and inclusion.